There is a claim constantly circulating the EU: ‘multiculturalism is dead in Europe.’ Dead or maybe d(r)ead?… That much comes from a cluster of European nation-states that love to romanticize their appearance via the solid Union, as if they themselves lived a long, cordial and credible history of multiculturalism. Hence, this claim is of course false. It is also cynical because it is purposely deceiving. No wonder, as the conglomerate of nation-states/EU has silently handed over one of its most important debates – that of European anti-fascistic identity, or otherness – to the wing-parties. This was repeatedly followed by the selective and contra-productive foreign policy actions of the Union.
The Paris shootings, terrible beyond comprehension, will reload and overheat those debates. However, these debates are ill-conceived, resting from the start on completely wrong and misleading premises. Terrorism, terror, terrorism!! – But, terror is tactics, not an ideology. How can one conduct and win war on tactics – it is an oxymoron. Assassins involved in the Parisian satirical magazine (and subsequent hostage crises) are Islamofascists. The fact that these individuals are allegedly of the Arab-Muslim origins does not make them less fascists, less European, nor does it abolish Europe from the main responsibility in this case.
Fascism and its evil twin, Nazism are 100% European ideologies. Neo-Nazism also originates from and lately unchecked blossoms, primarily in Europe. Some would say; an über-economy in the center of continent, surrounded from all sides by the recuperating neo-fascism. (How else to explain that the post-WWII come-and-help-our-recovery slogan Gastarbeiter willkommen became an Auslander Raus roar in a matter of only two decades. Suddenly, our national purifiers extensively shout ‘we need de-ciganization’ of our societies, as if it historically does not always end up in one and only possible way– self-barbarization.)
The Old continent tried to amortize its deepening economic and demographic contraction by a constant interference in its peripheries, especially meddling in the Balkans, Black Sea/Caucasus and MENA (Middle East–North Africa). What is the epilogue now? A severe democratic recession. Whom to blame for this structural, lasting civilizational retreat that Europe suffers? Is it accurate or only convenient to accuse a bunch of useful idiots for returning home with the combative behavior, equipped with European guns and the homegrown anger of the misused?
My voice is just one of the many that includes notables like Umberto Eco, Bono Vox and Kishore Mahbubani –foster moderation and dialogue, encourage forces of toleration, wisdom and understanding, stop supporting and promoting ethno-fascism in the former Yugoslavia and Ukraine. These advices were and are still ridiculed and silenced, or in the best case, ignored. Conversely, what the EU constantly nurtured with its councils, boots and humanitarian aid starting from Bosnia 25 years ago, Middle East, until the present day Ukraine was less of a constructive strategic engagement and more of a cult of death, destruction, partition, exclusion and fascism.
Some of the most notorious regimes on this planet are extensively advertised and glorified all throughout the EU – including the biggest events and the most popular sports. No matter, that one of these hereditary theocracies considers as a serious criminal offense – brutally coercing like European Nazis in 1930s – if the prescribed state religion is not obeyed as the only existing one. On the other side, the European temple of multiculturalism, Sarajevo, was barbarically sieged and bombed for 1,000 days – all just a one-hour flight from Brussels. Still, 20 years after falling victim to an unthinkable genocide, Bosnia remains the only UN member country in the world that does not exercise its sovereignty. It is administratively occupied by the opaque and retrograde international bureaucracy – predominantly European apparatchiks that institutionalized segregation in this victimized then criminalized country.
Illuminating cradles of multiculturalism – some of the brightest verticals of entire human civilization such as Jerusalem, Baghdad, and Damascus – still suffer unbearable horrors of externally induced, ahistorical destruction, hatred, and purges.
Europe still defies the obvious. There is no lasting peace at home if the neighborhood remains restless. Ask Americans living at the Mexican border, or Turks next to Syria. This horrific Paris massacre (and related shootouts that did not fade away even days after the initial assault) is only a painful reminder of how much the EU has already isolated itself. For unreasonably long Europe promoted in the Middle East and Africa everything but the stability and prosperity of its own post-WWII socio-economic model. No wonder that today, instead of blossoming neighborhood, the EU is encircled by the ring of politico-military instability and socio-economic despair – from Ukraine, Balkans to MENA, and countless refuges originating from therein.
Even when there is no opportunity, give at least a lame hope. That is what Europe keenly helped with in the Middle East: The very type of Islam Europe supported in the Middle East yesterday is the version of Islam (or better to say, fascism) we are getting today in Christian Europe as well as in the Christian neighborhoods of Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon.
Thus, in response to the Balkans, MENA and Ukraine crises, the EU repeatedly failed to keep up a broad, single-voiced consolidated agenda and all-participatory basis within its strategic neighborhood. The EU missed it all – although having institutions, WWII-memory, interest and credibility to prevent mistakes – as it did wrong before at its home; by silently handing over one of its most important questions, that of European identity, anti-fascism, and otherness, to escapist anti-politics dressed up in the Western European wing-parties.
Eventually, the ‘last world’s cosmopolitan’ – as the EU is often self-portrayed – compromised its own perspectives and discredited its own transformative power’s principle. The 2012 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, EU did so by undermining its own institutional framework: the Nuremberg principles and firm antifascist legacy (UN and CoE), Barcelona Process as the specialized segment of from-Morocco-to-Russia European Neighborhood Policy (EU) and the Euro-Med partnership (OSCE).
The only direct involvement of the continent was ranging between a selective diplomatic de-legitimization, satanization in media, and punitive military engagement via the Atlantic Europe-led coalition of the willing (the Balkans, Libya, Syria, Ukraine). Confrontational nostalgia prevailed again over both that is essential for any viable future: dialog (instruments) and consensus (institutions).
The consequences are rather striking and worth of stating once more: The sort of Islam that the EU supported (and the means deployed to do so) in the Middle East yesterday is the sort of Islam (and the means it uses) that Europe gets today. Small wonder that Islam in Turkey (or in Kirgizstan and in Indonesia) is broad, liberal, and tolerant while the one in Atlantic-Central Europe is a brutally dismissive, narrow, and vindictively assertive.
Our urgent task – if we are serious about Europe – is denazification. Let’s start from Bosnia, Ukraine and Paris at once.
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